Zach Barker (left) and Jaiden Brandt (right) both clocked personal-best times and placed inside the top 650 among the 30,000 competitors at Monday's Boston Marathon.
Liberty track & field/cross country graduate assistants Jaiden Brandt and Zach Barker each posted personal-best times and placed well at the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday.
Brandt finished 111th overall and 100th among male entrants among the field of approximately 30,000 competitors. He started out aggressively, reaching halfway in 1:13:02. Brandt then crossed the finish line in 2:38:27, shaving 17 minutes off of his previous personal best and placing as the 73rd American finisher.
Barker followed in 648th place overall, including 620th among males. He finished in a personal-best 2:52:22 after clocking 1:18:16 for the first half of the race.
Brandt began his tenure as a Liberty track & field/cross country graduate assistant in the fall of 2014. He graduated from Augusta University (then called Georgia Regents University) with personal best times of 15:03.32 (5K) and 31:16.06 (10K). Brandt was a two-time qualifier to the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships.
Barker has been serving as a graduate assistant for the Liberty track & field/cross country programs since wrapping up his time as a Flame in the spring of 2014. The native of Wernersville, Pa., earned All-Big South honors at the 2013 Big South Cross Country Championships with an 11th-place finish and posted personal bests of 9:37.80 (steeplechase), 15:16.81 (5K) and 32:46.20 (10K).
Barker and Brandt are part of the Anchored Elite team, coached by Liberty alum Jarred Cornfield, who is currently a track & field/cross country graduate assistant at Northern Arizona.
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